Research

Publications

Prospective Students

Events

People

Search

Seminars

Links

Home

2007-08 Seminars


Electric power generation and air quality

Daniel Cohan
Assistant Professor
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Rice University

Abstract
Electric power generation is among the leading contributors to air pollution. However, the impact of a power plant on ambient air pollution depends not only on its emission rates, but also upon spatially and temporally variable factors such as meteorology and biogenic emissions. Thus, there may be opportunities to improve air quality by targeting the location of new generation facilities and of emissions controls for existing facilities. The High-order Decoupled Direct Method (HDDM) offers a powerful and computationally efficient tool for examining atmospheric responsiveness to perturbations in emission rates and quantifying the uncertainty of pollutant sensitivities. Recent studies have applied HDDM to examine the nonlinear impacts of power plant emissions on air quality. A multi-disciplinary study recently initiated at Rice University is exploring how air quality analyses can be considered together with economic and reliability factors to jointly inform planning for power system growth.